2

A blonde haired figure in blue denim lurched in, mumbled something and collapsed on the floor. The aura was a last whisper of light distorting, heat haze. Frank and Teddy gave the young guy a lift up.

Teddy accidently brushed a metal stud on the blue denim jacket and flinched, "Shit! Burny, burny!" The lad's clothes were as hot and dry as if they'd just come out of a tumble drier.

"Ah wonder how come his hair's no singed?" Said Frank.

"By the looks o' that DA an' aw' the grease oan it," said Teddy with a glance at the guy's quiff, "Ah'd say he'll be lucky if he huznae deep fried hiz brains! The rain's batterin' doon ootside, an' he feels like he's spent time inside an oven, gasmark 8."

Hyug glanced across, "Is that one oh thae psychobilly revivalists? Whit's that he's mumblin', oanyway?"

Teddy listened carefully, "He's jist sayin,' "I know! I know!" over an' over again." They dragged him over to a corner table and propped him up.

Frank shook his head, "He looks like he stepped oot o' wan o' them 50's rocker B movies."

"Aye. He looks like the juvenile delinquent frae ooter space awright." Said Teddy, rubbing his chin.

The youngster came to. "Man! What happened? Oh my head!" He looked round, groggily, "Who are you guys? You beats? I can dig it. What am I doing here?"

"Where do ye get off wae the jive talk?" Asked Frank "Nobody ever tell ye Elvis is dead. He's long gone."

"What do you mean dead? When? How?"

"Calm down, son." Said Teddy quietly. "Are you frae America?"

"What do you mean? Where am I? This is way far out!"

"My name's Teddy, an' this here is Frank. Now, who are you?"

The boy looked blank. "I can't remember. Wait a minute. Yeah! I'm Johnny, Johnny Fist."

"Aye. Pleased to meet you Johnny. This is the "Iron Horse pub," in Glasgow, Scotland. Do you know where that is?" Johnny nodded, blankly. "Good. Now, where did you think you were?"

"Man, oh man. This is crazy. Last time I looked I was in Nevada. All I can remember is a big black pit opening up beneath my feet and I'm falling up, up through space! Man!"

"Johnny, don't mind me asking. You've no been smoking any herbal cigarettes, anything like that?"

"I'm no hophead! Last hit on a reefer for me, was in a blues joint in Kansas. Coltrane was blowing up a storm. `The Trane!' Truly in the groove. That was over a year ago."

The hair rose on the back of Teddy's neck. "The Trane? Eh, which Coltrane would that be? Pardon my ignorance, an' that."

"Hey! Aren't you hip? There is only one one `Trane.' John Coltrane of course."

Frank shrugged and mumbled, "There's Robbie Coltrane. An' he's pretty hard tae miss `n' all."

Teddy looked at Johnny carefully. "Johnny, boy. Whit's the day's date, roughly speaking?"

Johnny, paused and thought hard for a few moments. Then he looked at his wrist watch. A chunky, platinum, Rolex with day/date windows and nodded. "It's Wednesday the 25th of June."

Frank looked surprised. "Chilly fur June, don't ye think?"

Teddy continued, carefully. "Now Johnny, here's the 64000 dollar question. Whit year is it? Think carefully before replying."

Johnny looked at the scruffy individual as if he was mad. He felt strangely on edge as he replied. "It's 1957."

"Sorry Johnny, no in this neck o' the woods. Round these parts it mair like 2002." He pulled a folded up copy of the `Evening Times' from his jacket pocket. "I don't suppose ye'll believe me."

Johnny looked at the date on the front page. Then he looked at the date again, for a long time. He said nothing. Searching his pockets, he pulled out a slim wallet and fished from it a card with his passport photo stapled to it.

His driving licence. The date of birth was clear, 01.22.38. Teddy said out loud, "The twenty second of January 1938. That would make you sixty three. A full twenty four and a half years older than me." `Expiry date: September 1960.' ` Issuing Authority: The State of California.' He continued "Well, here's a puzzler." He looked up as the door opened, "Here's the girls!"

copyright, 2002 AndroMan.